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Sunshine Skyway lit for National Blue and Green Day

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Sunshine Skyway to glow in blue and green to honor organ donors

A national day to honor donors takes place this week.

The Sunshine Skyway will once again light up Friday to honor those donating of themselves to save lives. But this time, Florida’s most iconic bridge will light up in green and blue to honor organ and tissue donors.

The bridge between Pinellas and Manatee counties will be illuminated for National Blue and Green Day. The LifeLink Foundation credited staff at St. Joseph’s Hospital for spearheading the effort.

It’s part of a national awareness campaign on the importance of donors, according to the foundation.

Through the LifeLink of Florida, some 262 donors and families provided organs and tissue that helped save 756 lives, the organization said.

“Even during the COVID-19 pandemic organ donation continues to help save the lives of those patients who are desperately waiting for a transplant,” reads a release from the Foundation.

But another 5,400 individuals in Florida remain in registries awaiting such assistance.

The organization encouraged other people to register as donors at the Foundation website.

This marks just the most recent reason to light up the Skyway. The bridge, maintained by the Florida Department of Transportation, was lit up recently by FDOT to show unity within the community.

It was the most high-profile statewide campaign to light up infrastructure to inspire Floridians through the COVID-19 crisis. Sarasota City Commissioner Hagen Brody initially asked FDOT to light up the Ringling Causeway in Sarasota with red to honor first responders, the white for essential workforce and the blue for medical professionals.

The Skyway was fit with color-changing LED lights in a $15-million improvement completed in 2019. It’s an expense that generated debate at the time over whether that was the best use of public dollars, even with it coming out of an enterprise fund using toll revenue.

Written By

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at jacobogles@hotmail.com.

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